Microsoft's Xbox One X will be the most powerful console ever released, but people only understand that in a general sense. How it truly performs running games at a native 4K resolution remains a question.
Thankfully, Digital Foundry, who collaborated with Microsoft to officially unveil key specs of the console back when people still knew it as Project Scorpio, has just published a detailed analysis on some early performance benchmarks.
Xbox One X Early Benchmark Tests
The results make one thing clear: running games in native 4K at 60 fps is difficult. Because of which, gamers will likely end up seeing certain graphically extensive games utilize dynamic resolution or checkerboarding methods to achieve higher resolutions, the same technique the PlayStation 4 Pro employs.
In short, gamers shouldn't expect every game to run at 4K and, by extension, fewer games will run at 60 fps at that resolution.
Before you view Digital Foundry's in-depth report, take note that there are a lot of parameters to take into consideration. First, titles were tested as direct Xbox One ports but bumped to full native 4K. Additionally, no specific optimizations were employed to the hardware, nor there were any changes to the games themselves.
Digital Foundry's benchmark results don't namedrop the titles that were used to test the console, but feel free to speculate which is which. The chart you'll see below is from the tests.
Digital Foundry also included other crucial metrics such as rendering times, framerates, and GPU load.
Here's a handy rundown of the results:
• Xbox One games originally at 1080p fared much better in 4K, managing to score higher framerates than their original counterparts.
• Xbox One games at 900p, however, didn't perform as good. But it holds up better than expected, though slightly underperforming than the base Xbox One games when ported to the Xbox One X.
• 720p games, on the other hand, rendered lackluster results, but Digital Foundry notes this is predictable.
• In terms of framerate, games originally at 1080p fared very well when ported to the Xbox One X, even gaining more framerates, in fact. Two out of three 900p games tested closely matching the original performance when scaled to native 4K.
You might be asking, why do 720p games perform worse when ported to the Xbox One X? Well, since they're running at 720p, the hardware will have to render it to a much higher 4K resolution, and that takes a toll on the game's framerate.
"The raw metrics here suggest that what was originally a 60 fps experience would linger in 38 fps territory — not surprising, bearing in mind we're looking at 9x increase in resolution," the report states.
Digital Foundry's report includes extremely in-depth information. If you'd like to know more about what this means to developers going forward, then the whole article should be a worthy read.
The Xbox One X launches early November for $499.